Affiliate Marketing

‘Tis the Season to Increase Earnings

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With temperatures dropping and decorations hanging, shoppers will be on the hunt for the best sales around. Luckily for you and your visitors, eBay is spreading some cheer with a number of sales and events this Christmas season. From now through November 30, we will be showcasing a number of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for the entire family. Right now is the perfect time for publishers to promote Christmas, as it’s a chance to increase your affiliate earnings. During the busiest shopping week of the year, eBay will be offering deep discounts across our hottest categories. Everything from apparel and appliances to electronics, home goods and toys will be on sale. Encourage your visitors to check out the deals page regularly throughout the next week, as they’ll find big savings on some of the most popular brands including Apple, LG, Samsung, Sony and more.

The savings don’t stop there! From December 10 to 14 and again from December 24 to 29, eBay will be celebrating “My Big Weekend.” Be sure to direct your visitors to the Christmas Hub and the deals page to continue saving big on our most popular verticals.

Highlighting top deals is a great way for you drive traffic and increase earnings. To make it easy to promote eBay deals, we are providing you with several creatives in a variety of sizes. Utilize these different banners to draw attention and guide your visitors to the deals page.

Black Friday Creatives can be found here.

These assets should link to: http://www.ebay.co.uk/rpp/deals

Cyber Monday Creatives can be found here.

These assets should link to: http://www.ebay.co.uk/rpp/deals

If you have any questions, please reach out to Customer service at ePN-cs-english@ebay.com and they’d be happy to help. Merry Christmas and Happy Promoting from the ePN Team!

DE & US Hot Categories: January

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Welcome to the New Year’s edition of the eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories forecast. In this post we outline our January predictions for the DE and US regions. With this we aim to help you drive optimal levels of traffic by capitalising on trending categories. What’s Hot?

Use the below graphics to see What’s Hot this January:

DE Program

Suggestions: In January, the sub-categories “iPad, Tablet & eBook Zubehör”, “Konsolen” as well as “Software” within “Electronics” are very popular. Due to the low temperatures, the children’s playroom still is in the house – this is why it is useful promoting “Modelleisenbahn Spur H0” and “Rennbahnen & Slotcars” within the “Home & Garden” category. “Skisport & Snowboarding” and “Weitere Sportarten”.

US Program

Suggestions: The Electronics category is forecast a strong month this January, with “Computer Components & Parts” and “Video Game Consoles” both experiencing high levels of traffic for the duration of the month. Other complementing sub categories such as “Video Game Accessories” and “iPad/Tablet/eBook Accessories” are also predicted traffic spikes as we head into the New Year.

Remember: If you are intending to publish content based on individual weeks, keep the timing in mind. Make the most of these predictions by keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not; trade out less active categories for other, more popular ones.

 

Make sure you check back again next month for the latest forecasts!

How do we define a ‘Hot Category’?

Aside from showing a significant spike versus the rest of our marketplace, each category selected must be large enough to be considered relevant. Categories such as Fashion/Women’s Clothing or Electronics/Mobile& Smartphones, which show relatively little fluctuation, have been excluded from our selection.

So how does it work?

Each month we post the categories we expect to spike on our blog. Using previous data trends* as the forecast model we are able keep you in-the-know with an easy, accessible visual aid. You’ll be able to anticipate what content to publish, which ads and offers to promote.

Just read our blog on a regular basis and then adjust your performance strategy to align with the forecast. It’s as simple as that! Multiple spiking categories can be found here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*All data has been aggregated at weekly level for every level 2 category across the following time frames:

  • DE program – Transaction data on DE site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11
  • US program – Transaction data on US site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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Publisher Stories: Propersmart

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We were recently caught up with our long-time partner, Rick Harris from Propersmart. He runs online shopping portals, Offer of the Day (UK) and Deal of the Day (US). Through these sites, customers can find the latest and best deals on the net using easy to filter categories.

So how long have you been with ePN and what attracted you?

We’ve been with ePN for 5 years now. I hadn’t initially thought of eBay as something to promote as a “shop”. But what really worked are the outlets because they are essentially shops – we could just slot them in amongst the others. eBay has become a “buy it now” retailer environment and so it fit in really well.

So what tools do you use?

It’s pretty much the API and the daily deals feeds. The API is by far the most useful part. It will get key word recommendations for your site – it auto corrects search terms and suggests improvements which is really useful. We also find that eBay’s banner support is very effective as it offers display based on keyword terms rather than using generic spray tactics. Personalised banners are essential and we generally find that impersonal banners don’t work – customers tend to get “banner blindness”. Make sure you banners always tie into your content.

What methods do you use to drive traffic?

We don’t do a lot of SEO – lots of our traffic is repeat traffic. Neither do we do a lot of link building. We focus on the website. There’s a lot of customer loyalty. We have a survey on there that asks how people came to the website and “recommended by a friend” is the number one answer.

What differentiates your website?

New deals and fresh stuff to look at – come back on to the website and there’s new stuff half an hour later. The accuracy of the website’s data is also a draw. We use a lot of our own technology rather than relying on third party tech to keep things up to date (except for the eBay API, which forms part of the insight we have).

If you were to do it again, what would you do differently?

Maintaining our website requires a very high workload. If I were to go into the affiliate market again I’d do more things like the local deals finder – once it’s created then “it’s done” and will work forever more. Keeping real time data up to date is a never ending task of maintenance and updating – it’s constant.

You have a dedicated mobile website. Why did you choose this over say over responsive design?

Our website has had so much split testing done to it that we didn’t want to sacrifice that for the sake of responsive design. I know some particularly well known shops have gone down the responsive design road and its bitten back quite hard.

How important is addressing customer segments?

We log everything that people search for and then review how many results there were against it. Anything that has a low quantity of search results we look at to see why that is: Is there a niche we don’t have a merchant for? Or are users making common search mistakes, for example, Dyson Hoover – two conflicting brands so it doesn’t come up with a vacuum!

So Data is key?

Yes, especially search terms. We use the same tracking for our mobile website. We’ve experienced a lift of 45% this year and 34% year before on mobile usage, so it’s on the up.

Any other advice?

Split test. While it may feel like you’re slowing down the process, even just changing the text on a button may improve the click rate by one or two percent, which in the long term is hugely significant. All of this is common sense!

The other thing is to make sure your page has a purpose. Ask yourself, “what am I trying to get the user to do on this page?” Keep it very siloed – “I’m making this page for this purpose, and this is the action.” Don’t end up making lots of pages that are the same with no real purpose. This helps with your SEO as well.

It’s also worth bearing in mind not to index everything on your website to Google. This dilutes your website and doesn’t help your SEO. Stick to your core pages that have a purpose.

 

Thanks, Rick.

News and Views: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Recap

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So the dust is beginning to settle after the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In this December issue of News and Views we’ll take a look at some of the insights that are rolling in as a result of the busiest (extended) weekend in commerce. According to the IMRG, an estimated £810m was spent online by British shoppers last Friday, meaning that Boxing Day has potentially been overtaken as the biggest shopping day of the year in the UK. These figures eclipsed initial estimates of £555m, with some 267,000+ orders being logged by 6pm on the Monday.

IBMOne of the most promising features worthy of note was the increase in mobile transactions. According to IBM, mobile accounted for over a third of all traffic on black Friday – up from last year’s 20% figure (right). What is most interesting is when we compare sales figures of mobile vs. tablet. Despite accounting for less than 15% of all traffic, over 16% of all sales were made on a tablet with a conversion rate just short of 5%!

PayPal, who sees $1 in every $6 of e-commerce go through its network, has also reported a 47% increase in the number of mobile payments this Thanksgiving, and a 62% increase on Black Friday over last year.

While various sources may be reporting a decline in sales last weekend on 2013, one thing is clear: the mobile and tablet customer base is growing rapidly and is showing no signs of slowing.

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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Black Friday, WOW Weekend and Cyber Monday Deals!

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It’s that time already, as the world gears up to its busiest online retail weekend of the year!  To ensure our partners can make the most of the festive spending, ePN is running a series of special events over the weekend offering up to 60% off selected items.* Starting on Friday 28th November at 8 am, and running until Saturday 29th November at 8am, the Black Friday promotions will kick off the weekend with huge volumes of traffic expected!

We’ll then follow this with our WOW Weekend promotion running from 8am Saturday 29th November until Monday December 1st at 8am – paving the way for the final Cyber Monday deals.

Monday 1st of December is best known as Cyber Monday, and marks the final day of the nation’s fevered shopping frenzy! As such we will be running our Cyber Monday deals from 8am Monday 1st through to Tuesday 2nd November at 8am.

The weekend’s promotions include gadget gifts such as:

  • Samsung Galaxy Gear
  • Apple iPad Air 2 16GB Wi-Fi Tablet
  • Apple iPad Mini 3 16GB

Home and garden items including:

  • Enzo Double beds
  • Stunning 3 Seater Designer Sofa Bed Leather Chrome New Black Brown Cream Red
  • Silentnight Goose Feather Pillow - 4 Pillows

Fragrances such as:

  • Versache Versus 50ml EDT
  • Kate Moss V/Muse 50ml EDT
  • Beckham Essence 30ml EDT

These campaigns offer you a great opportunity to capitalise on the year’s most active time of year.

Along with the dedicated Christmas Hub that is live over the course of the festive period, eBay will be running more special events (WOW Weekends), so make sure you stay updated by reading our blog for latest news!

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

*Please note sellers and products will vary and are subject to availability.

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UK, DE & US Hot Categories: December

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Welcome to the December edition of the eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories forecast. In this post we outline our December predictions for the UK, DE and US regions. With this we aim to help you drive optimal levels of traffic by capitalising on trending categories.

What’s Hot?

Use the below graphics to see What’s Hot this December:

UK Program

Suggestions: It comes as no surprise that sales across the board are spiking this December. Collectibles, Electronics and Fashion categories are strong contenders as the obvious gift choices this Christmas. It is worth noting almost all categories stop spiking during the last week of December as the UK takes a moment to catch its breath.

DE Program

Suggestions: It’s all about December Christmas shopping! Toys and Gadgets are very popular, along with jewellery and watches within the Fashion category. Model railways and indoor racing are also strong choices within “Home & Garden”. Those who want to escape the festive madness are booking last minute get-aways to the snowy mountains or beach. As a result, the Lifestyle category is booming with short trips and winter sport orders. 

US Program

Suggestions: Similar to the UK programme, the first three weeks of December see spikes almost across the board with Collectibles, Electronics, Fashion and Home & Garden fulfilling the Christmas wish lists. Electronics sees prolonged spikes throughout the entire month with iPads, Tablets, eBook Readers, Video Games and Vide Consoles staying strong right into the final weeks of the year.

Remember: If you are intending to publish content based on individual weeks, keep the timing in mind. Make the most of these predictions by keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not; trade out less active categories for other, more popular ones.

Make sure you check back again next month for the latest forecasts!

How do we define a ‘Hot Category’?

Aside from showing a significant spike versus the rest of our marketplace, each category selected must be large enough to be considered relevant. Categories such as Fashion/Women’s Clothing or Electronics/Mobile& Smartphones, which show relatively little fluctuation, have been excluded from our selection.

So how does it work?

Each month we post the categories we expect to spike on our blog. Using previous data trends* as the forecast model we are able keep you in-the-know with an easy, accessible visual aid. You’ll be able to anticipate what content to publish, which ads and offers to promote.

Just read our blog on a regular basis and then adjust your performance strategy to align with the forecast. It’s as simple as that! Multiple spiking categories can be found here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 *All data has been aggregated at weekly level for every level 2 category across the following time frames:

  • UK program – Transaction data on UK site from 2013-01-01 to 2013-12-31
  • DE program – Transaction data on DE site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11
  • US program – Transaction data on US site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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eBay UK kicks off first festive WOW Weekend this Friday!

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XMAS SUWE1

As part of our recently launched Christmas campaign, the first of our WOW Weekends will go live this Friday 14th November at 8 am, running until Monday 17th of November, 8 am. This is a fantastic opportunity to potentially boost your earnings, with up to 60% off RPP on selected lines across categories such as technology, fashion and home & garden. Selected items will be available for Click and Collect at Argos stores.

The promotions available will include great gadgets such as:

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 16GB
  • Nikon D3200 camera
  • LG 47LB650
  • Lynx 7" windows tablet
  • iPad mini 3 16Gb

For those looking to adorn their homes and gardens for the season, offers will include:

  • Krups Kp300240 White Nescafé Dolce Gusto Fontana Coffee Pod Machine
  • Royal Worcester Kwarx Crystal Glass Decanter & 4 Red Wine Glasses Gift Boxed Set
  • Silentnight Hollowfibre Duvet And Pillow Pair – Double

Fashion promotions will also be available, such as:

  • Superdry Women's Knitwear
  • Ralph Lauren Half Zip Rib Sweatshirt
  • Michael Kors Rose Watch

This campaign offers you a great opportunity to capitalise on some seasonal promotions and drive traffic to your site to boost conversion rates.

Along with the dedicated Christmas Hub that will be live over the course of the festive period, eBay will be running five more special events (WOW Weekends), so make sure you stay updated by reading our blog for latest news!

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

*Please note sellers and products will vary and are subject to availability.

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News and Views: Festive Forecasts

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In November’s edition of News and Views, we take a look at the upcoming festive spend predictions. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Thanksgiving are all within the next two months so now is the time to get ahead and start planning your festive campaigns and strategies.

 Customer Growth Partners expects the consumer electronics category to experience growth of more than 4% this season. With such a competitive environment, customers will be hugely price sensitive – always on the lookout for the latest and best bargains. According to the CFI Group, between November 28 and December 1, nearly 30 percent of consumers spend more than 50% of their total festive budgets! This is a huge opportunity and one that affiliates should take full advantage of – keep up to date of all upcoming Super Weekends on our blog.

 Sage Pay has forecast online spending to top £13 billion this Christmas, an equivalent of an 18% boost on last year’s spending. “With record online spending predicted for Christmas 2014, it’s never been more important for small businesses to be online,” said Simon Black, chief executive of Sage Pay.

 Mobile traffic accounted for nearly 20% of all online traffic last cyber Monday, with tablets making up an additional 11.5% according to IBM. However, when it comes to making the sale, tablets drove a significantly higher percentage, driving 11.7% of all online sales, more than double that of smartphones (5.5%).

 eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories for the next  two months will also be worth noting to make sure you’re publishing the most relevant and successful campaigns for you.

 As always we welcome your comments and feedback.

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UK, DE & US Hot Categories: November

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UK, DE & US Hot Categories: October Welcome to the November edition of the eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories forecast. In this post we outline our November predictions for the UK, DE and US regions. With this we aim to help you drive optimal levels of traffic by capitalising on trending categories. What’s Hot?

Use the below graphic to see What’s Hot this November:

UK Program

Suggestions: As Christmas season spending begins to take hold we see a sharp rise in everything gift related as the “collectibles” category experiences prolonged high levels of activity. “Home & Garden” also experiences a lift in activity as focus shifts from outside to the home, restocking and revamping last year’s winter essentials and décor.

 DE Program

Suggestions: Due to the cold season, the children’s playroom shifts from the garden back into the house. What’s more, the first preparations for Christmas start in November, with toys from ‘LEGO’ and ‘Playmobil’ within the “Collectibles” category proving very popular throughout the entire month. Within “Lifestyle”, the sub-category ‘Skisport & Snowboarding’ still spikes in November. The “Home & Garden” category is also booming. Here, the sub-categories ‘Feste & Besondere Anlässe’, ‘Installation’, ‘Kamine & Kaminzubehör’ and ‘Lampen & Licht’ are very popular.

 US Program

Suggestions: Similar to the UK program the US sees a sharp rise “Collectibles” sales as Christmas spending increases in anticipation for the big day. “Home & Garden” shows promise as ‘kids craft’ and ‘holiday & seasonal décor’ mirror the festivities as families come together.

 Remember: If you are intending to publish content based on individual weeks, keep the timing in mind. Make the most of these predictions by keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not; trade out less active categories for other, more popular ones.

Make sure you check back again next month for the latest forecasts!

How do we define a ‘Hot Category’?

Aside from showing a significant spike versus the rest of our marketplace, each category selected must be large enough to be considered relevant. Categories such as Fashion/Women’s Clothing or Electronics/Mobile& Smartphones, which show relatively little fluctuation, have been excluded from our selection.

So how does it work?

Each month we post the categories we expect to spike on our blog. Using previous data trends* as the forecast model we are able keep you in-the-know with an easy, accessible visual aid. You’ll be able to anticipate what content to publish, which ads and offers to promote.

Just read our blog on a regular basis and then adjust your performance strategy to align with the forecast. It’s as simple as that! Multiple spiking categories can be found here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*All data has been aggregated at weekly level for every level 2 category across the following time frames:

  • UK program – Transaction data on UK site from 2013-01-01 to 2013-12-31
  • DE program – Transaction data on DE site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11
  • US program – Transaction data on US site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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Link Generator Tool – Make your eBay integration trackable

link generator tool make your eBay integration trackableThe link generator is probably the most user-friendly and versatile tool available on ePN. In addition to allowing you to create Text Links, you can also use it to make trackable anything on your site (content, images, video), and send traffic to any eBay landing page. How to use the link generator?

Let’s take a look at creating a tracking code. The screenshot below provides an example of what fields to complete for the UK Programme using the Custom URL option.  After inputting your desired destination URL in the Custom URL field, selecting your Campaign, and making sure to leave the Link Text field empty, click the “Generate Link” button, and your tracking code is generated under “Get Your Link.” You have the choice between Javascript and HTML for the Code Type.  Select for example the HTML option and copy the code within the Code box.

link article

To make an image already hosted on your site link to eBay and have traffic tracked to your affiliate account, you simply ‘embed’ the image with the HTML affiliate tracking code you copied. You can also embed content or video on your site with HTML affiliate tracking code to create trackable links.

For an overview of all the fields available to populate when using the Link Generator tool please consult our Help documentation available.

 Which information is included in the link structure?

We thought it might be helpful to break down line by line and show you what’s included in the link structure.

As you know, there are various ways you can customize a link. One way is to specify an itemID and have the link pointing to a specific listing. Using this example, if you go into Link Generator, specify Item ID #130300099902, toggle geo-target to “No” with the UK as the selected programme, and specify link text “Navigation System”, you get the following link:

  • href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1 Base URL, same as before, all numbers are generic ID numbers while the “711-53200-19255-0” is a RotationID that changes for each program and helps assign the click to the right programme, you can find here a complete list of available rotation IDs
  • ?icep_ff3=2 Link type indicating whether this is a home page link, item id link, etc,
  • &pub=5574628273 Your publisher ID
  • &toolid=10001 Refers to the tool used (10001 is Link Generator)
  • &campid= The ID of your campaign
  • &customid= The related customID (optional)
  • &icep_item= The item ID
  • &ipn=psmain Parameter for future landing page optimization (always same)
  • &icep_vectorid=229466 Parameter for future landing page optimisation (different by country/programme)
  • &kwid=902099 Parameter for future landing page optimisation (always same)
  • &mtid=824 Parameter for future landing page optimisation (always same)
  • &kw=lg Parameter for future landing page optimisation, do not edit, always same)
  • [CACHEBUSTER]” The impression pixel

Please note that there are multiple types of Link Generator (Home page, search results, item ID, store, custom URL etc.). While we can’t explain every link in detail here, you will find a lot of the parameters above common across most links. We recommend generating the base link from the Link Generator to see how the structure slightly changes for other links.

We’re eager to answer any questions you may have about the link generator tool. Please feel free to leave your questions in the comment section below.

News and Views: Cross-Device Trends & M-commerce

News and Views Cross-Device Trends  M-commerceIn September’s edition of ePN’s News and Views we’re looking at the latest “cross-device” trends and mobile statistics. According to a recent survey from Shopify, now more than 50 per cent blog 4of ecommerce traffic comes from mobile, now firmly establishing it as “the default way that people shop online” (figure 1).  They credit this rise to “social-fuelled” discovery purchases whereby social media and mobiles are used for more spontaneous, discovery-based purchases. This rise shows a correlation with smartphone uptake generally. Ofcom’s August 2014 Communications Market Report highlighted that smartphone take-up had increased from 51% to 61% in Q1 2014 year-on-year, with the 16-24 years age group providing the most lift (see figure.2).

It therefore comes as no surprise that cross-device functionality has moved from a blog 6“nice-to-have” to a “need-to-have” for marketers.  Last month, eMarketer released its August 2014 Cross-Device Trends Roundup report, exploring topics including functionality, new paths to purchase, consumer perceptions of the connected future and their awareness of the “internet of things”.

What is key to bear in mind is that, while mobile is clearly a vital component, the customer journey is now cross-device, not one device. Desktop search remains a heavyweight for marketers and still provides a higher conversion percentage than that of mobile.

Publishers can run a Transaction Download Report to view their mobile traffic figures, read how here.

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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Bi-weekly news and views: Clicks and Conversions

Bi-weekly-news-and-viewsIn this edition of the ePN’s bi-weekly news and views we look at the latest click through rate (CTR) and conversion statistics for the UK, commenting on how these can vary on almost a daily basis and also by region. With the rapid expansion of mobile ad investment it comes as no surprise that UK CTR currently sits at 2.3%, 15% higher than the EMEA average of 2.0% according to Econsultancy. While this is great news for UK programme, don’t be too quick to write off the continent. There are fantastic opportunities to expand into the EU market, especially in Germany where CTR has reached a whopping 2.8%!

However, the click-through is only one (albeit crucial) step of the way toward the final conversion. A recent study from big data company, Quibit, has found that despite having generally higher spending habits, residents of the UK capital are far less likely to make the final conversion. With rates sitting at 2.07%, notably lower than the 2.32% average for the rest of the UK, London e-traffic is not only less likely to convert, but is also less likely to go via “search” means (27% vs. 30% respectively); not the best news for London affiliates.

So what can affiliates do to combat our less liberal Londoners? The IAB recently have disclosed their specifications and style guide for their Rising Star ad format that, according to PointRoll, have seen 70% higher click through rates than standard placements. Key take outs include dimensions, video load sizes and methods, CPU usage limits and more. While we’re not saying to use their guide like for like, they touch on some key and often overlooked features of successful ad-placement.

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Focus on Mobile: Tips to Boost Email Conversions

MobileUpdateLately we’ve been talking about mobile growth and the use of mobile-focused strategies as a way for our partners to tap into new revenue streams. As we mentioned in our previous blog post on the topic, nearly a quarter of the global population now owns a mobile device, presenting a big opportunity for marketers.

One of the key areas where affiliates can really move the needle is with email campaigns. Email is one of the most common activities performed via mobile, with 91% of smartphone users and 69% of tablet owners using their respective mobile devices to send and receive email (source).

Please note: You’ll need to get approval for a special business model with ePN before you start promoting via email. We’ve outlined the steps in detail at the bottom of this post.

Here are a few best practices to help get you started.

Keep Subject Lines Focused

With nearly two-thirds of all email opens taking place on mobile devices (source), this is a key entry point for ecommerce. To increase the likelihood that your email actually gets read, the first step is to examine your subject lines. Aim to keep your subject line copy between six to 10 words and under 50 characters, as a study from Retention Science found that this resulted in a 7% higher open rate than longer messages.

Other subject line considerations include identifying your company, hinting at the content inside and mentioning an offer. Focused, concise messages will help ensure that your entire subject is delivered and understood, rather than chopped due to mobile email client character constraints or disregarded due to irrelevance.

Be Accessible

Once you’ve passed the hurdle of getting the open and your message is in front of your mobile audience, focus on optimizing the email design for viewing across multiple mobile devices. This matters to your recipients: 83% of consumers say a seamless experience across all devices is somewhat or very important (source).

Mobile-optimized and responsive email templates will keep you on the right track to make sure that no matter what device your recipients are using, they’ll be able to enjoy a consistent experience. A design that lends itself to quick mobile scanning – by using appropriately sized header text, dividing lines and clear paragraph breaks are more appealing to mobile readers.

Be Personable

Approximately 64% of consumers report that they subscribe to brand emails, and 84% of those have made a purchase after receiving a brand email – for reasons ranging from deals offered to subtle reminders of something specific the recipient needed. To get to this point, put yourself in your audience’s shoes.

As you’ve likely experienced yourself, imagine them taking a few quick minutes during a busy, on-the-go day to scan their inbox. To grab and retain attention, it’s important to speak their language. This can be done by including personalised details like the recipient’s name, segmenting your audiences so each person receives the most relevant communications, and including other details like viewing or purchase history.

Streamline the Experience

After you’ve created your personalised, focused content, don’t let it go to waste by including other distractions. Multimedia additions like videos and large, slow-loading images can turn impatient users off, and some email clients may not automatically display images, leading to a disconnected experience for the recipient. On the other hand, identified links and clear calls to action will help get your email recipient to click through to your website.

While you’ll want to test your emails to see which strategies work best for your audiences, these are some considerations to get you started.

Applying for a Special Business Model

If you’re interested in promoting ePN directly within your emails, you’ll need to take a few quick steps to be approved for a special business model. To do this, complete the following for each domain:

  • Log into your ePN account, click the Referrers tab, add your domain and select “email” as your business model (Please note: If you have multiple special business model types, the system doesn’t allow the same domain to be added twice. To bypass this, add a variation of your domain name such as www. or https: instead of http:, for example.)
  • Click on the Account tab; click on the Business Model Applications sub-tab
  • The domains that require a business model application will appear on this page
  • Click on Create Application to view and complete the application
  • Make sure to include enough information and to answer all questions with as much detail as possible
  • Indicate specifically how your email list is generated, describe in detail how you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (or any other relevant email regulation that applies to your geography) and attach a sample email

How have you boosted the success of your mobile email campaigns? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Mobile Marketing Takeover

Over the last few weeks you've seen us talk a lot about mobile on this blog. Many of you have asked us“why now?” Our answer is, simply, “if not now, then when?” Mobile usage is projected to overtake desktop usage by the end of the year. Last year alone eBay did $22 billion in mobile commerce volume. To help get a 360 degree view of the opportunities in mobile, the good folks over at Surge Media have put together a very useful infographic. surge-mobile-marketing-infographic

Selfie trend sparks soar in sales

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We at ePN are always focused on making sure our partners have their finger on the pulse of the latest new trends. The now ubiquitous Selfie – so popular amongst celebrities and the wider population  over truly reached its zenith when Ellen DeGeneres and a star-spangled cast snapped their famous Oscars photo earlier this year and received a record 779,295 retweets in approximately half an hour. As a result, we now seeing even more selfies than ever from celebrities, friends and family filling our Facebook feeds and popping up on Twitter.

On eBay, where four smartphones are sold every minute, the result of this new craze is that sales of essential selfie equipment have soared over the past month – the selfie cable is a good example of this, with sales in the UK of this photo-perfecting item doubling in the last month. And it may well be, in this rush to replicate some of the classic celebrity selfie poses, some of the best selfies may not be as spontaneous as the term suggests – sales of image editing software on eBay increased more than two-fold in the week following the Oscars.

The selfie revolution has even spawned a host of new phrases, like the slightly cheekier ‘belfie’, in the style of Kim Kardashian and Cheryl Cole. As a result of these A-listers snapping themselves from a new direction, we have seen a 180% rise in the sale of full length mirrors in the UK as celeb wannabe’s perfect their own belfies at home.

Any questions about how to capitalise on trends like these to boost your earnings? Get in touch with the team!

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Don’t Leave Money On The Table: Focus on Mobile

ebayMobileIt’s no surprise that smartphone use has been rapidly climbing over the past few years, with about a quarter of the global population now owning at least one mobile device (source). And mobile ecommerce is following the same trajectory, with 22 percent of web traffic and 18 percent of ecommerce sales now delivered through mobile devices (source). So how can affiliate marketers tap into this growing market? By developing a mobile strategy that enables you to deliver a seamless experience across any device, you’ll be more likely to increase reach and conversions, thus increasing your affiliate earnings. Here are a few top ways to appeal to on-the-go shoppers.

Partner with a leader in mobile commerce

With more than $22 billion in mobile commerce volume in 2013, eBay delivers great experiences anywhere, anytime. In fact, users accessed listings via mobile devices in 40 percent of gross merchandise volume in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Many of our partners understand the value of mobile – in fact, 22% of respondents to our recent survey indicated that mobile was the single most important factor in their 2014 growth strategy. Many of our publishers have sites that appeal to Fashion, Tech, Collectibles or Motors enthusiasts, which is good news for mobile initiatives: these eBay categories have been proven to perform best via mobile.  If you’re not yet looking into capturing additional revenue from mobile users, there’s no better time to start than now.

Deliver a mobile web experience

Mobile devices continue to see increased click-through rates, so once your audience arrives at your destination, make sure you’re offering them a welcoming experience. The good news is that according to our mobile survey, 57 % of ePN publishers have already taken steps toward capturing mobile affiliate sales by creating a mobile-optimized site, and 29 % of those without a mobile site plan to implement a solution within the next six months.

Determine which solution will work best for you and your visitors by weighing the options: a dedicated mobile site or a responsive overall site design. A dedicated mobile site is essentially a copy of your website, which delivers an optimised page and navigation that’s fit for mobile devices. This option creates a unique experience for mobile users, and can be more cost effective and easier to implement. On the other hand, responsive design is more flexible and adaptive, automatically adjusting displays based on mobile specs. It also doesn't require you to introduce an additional domain.

Implement ePN tools

There are several ways you can capture additional revenue by directing your mobile visitors to eBay, with the help of ePN tools. Based on our survey, text links are the most commonly used, with more than half (51%) of mobile strategies deploying this tool. Other popular methods include using the product feed (33%), HTML custom banners (27%) or the API (23%) – or all of these tools (15%) for a comprehensive mix.

Analyse your results

By using the information in the Transaction Download Report, you can see how your efforts are paying off as you focus on driving more mobile traffic to eBay. You can filter the Transaction Download Report to show your level of mobile traffic, enabling you to evaluate which campaigns are driving the most mobile revenue. This data can help you further refine and optimize your ePN campaigns.

As technology, mobile e-commerce and the affiliate marketing industry continue to evolve, tuned-in marketers taking advantage of mobile capabilities will be able to find even more opportunities to drive traffic and increase earnings. Stay tuned for more info on ePN mobile opportunities, and let us know what you’re doing to capture this additional revenue stream in the comments below.

Join eBay Partner Network

epn If you’re looking for a simple, effective way to monetise your website Affiliate Marketing could be the perfect solution for you. Affiliate marketing is very straight forward and rewards you for driving sales-generating traffic to partner websites. Simply sign up to the eBay Partner Network, make use of our tools such as banners, links and API (Application Programming Interface), and you’re half way there already! Here’s a step-by-step ‘how-it works’ guide to get you the rest of the way and start earning money!

So why is eBay Partner Network the affiliate partnership for you?

Firstly, we have an established global program with over 108 million active users on eBay. These users offer publishers – i.e. you – access to visitors across the globe, giving you the opportunity to drive traffic to 13 different global eBay websites in a variety of languages and locales. Combine this with our vast product selection, regular deals, seasonal and category-specific promotions, and our new intuitive Collections interface, and you’ll see that we offer visitors the right incentives to purchase literally billions of products each year.

So how much can you earn?

That is down to you! We offer some of the most generous affiliate earnings on the web and your ePN returns are based on the amount of sales you drive to eBay. Additionally, we offer 200% bonuses for referring new or reactivated buyers!

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So how do we help you?

Affiliate publishing is a mutually beneficial relationship. If you succeed, we succeed. That why we are always looking for new ways to help you. We offer an extensive range of tools including custom banners, link generators, access to our API and more, to make sure you are fully equipped to make the most out of your partnership with us.

Not only that, we also offer a number of responsive communication channels such as this blog, and our LinkedIn and Twitter communities. These ensure you will always have the support you need and access to the latest information when it comes to the program news, industry tips and best practice methods.

So what are you waiting for? Join the partnership and start building your very own success story.

 

Industry News: Trends in mobile gaming, the growth of tablets and the decline of PCs

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In the last industry news update, we looked at various reports that gave an overview of the pan-European affiliate market. Today, we take a look at trends in mobile gaming as well as the growth of tablets and the demise of PCs.

A recent article in The Drum spotlights the huge growth of mobile gaming in the UK, using ComScore statistics that show there are now more than 20 million active mobile gamers in Britain. One of the major findings of the report is that 48 per cent of mobile gamers are women, which destroys many stereotypes. When advertising in the UK, it is important to remember that mobile gaming reaches both male and female audiences.

Another interesting article by reporter Charles Arthur in the Guardian looks at the prolific growth of tablet devices, the decline of PCs and how that will impact the average housel by 2017. According to analyst house Forrester, by 2017 60% of online consumers in North America and 42% in Europe will own a tablet device; overall there will be 905 million people worldwide with a tablet device. This equates to one in eight people globally. The article also reports that the key to success of tablet devices is their ‘hyper-mobility’ and versatility – something that affiliate marketers are already taking into account when delivering integrated campaigns.

Join eBay Partner Network at this year’s A4U Europe Conference 2-3 July 2013

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Gianfranco Ludovici, Head of Online Marketing and Business Development at eBay, will be joining a panel of industry experts at A4U Europe conference in Amsterdam on 2-3 July 2013.

Gianfranco will be answering questions on a number of different topics, including: the mobile opportunity and what it means for publishers and affiliate marketers.

If you haven’t already registered to take part at the conference, you can do it here and get an extra 10% off the ticket price if you use this code: SPKEUR10%

Feel free to share the discount code on your blog, twitter account or other social media channels and looking forward to seeing you at the event!

Any questions or comments? Please let us know below.

Industry News: Affiliate Marketing Opportunities Abound

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A few weeks ago, industry news revolved around trends in traffic. During the past two weeks, however, the conversation has shifted to opportunities. The opportunities affiliate marketers are creating for brands, as well as marketers’ opportunities to take advantage of the ever-growing EU ad market, mobile growth and engaging content. The biggest piece of news was the Internet Advertising Bureau’s recently released Annual AdEx Benchmark survey, which valued online advertising at €24.3bn in the EU and highlighted growth in several key markets – specifically mobile and online videos. According to The Drum’s coverage of the AdEx Benchmark, affiliate marketing in the UK alone generated £9bn in sales in 2012 – which equates to an average return of £11 for every £1 spent!

The Drum also took a closer look at the mobile opportunity, highlighting the necessity of strong tracking and analytics for affiliates to reap the full potential of mobile. If mobile is a priority for you in 2013, don’t forget to take tracking into account.

Finally, an article published in The Guardian explored the importance of content marketing for brands and the need to engage with customers via content that appeals specifically to their lives and their wants. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute sums it up nicely, saying, "Your customers don't care about you, your products, your services… they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you."

Questions or comments on the affiliate opportunities? We’d love to see them below.